When one is thinking about engineering and the beauty and science behind how structures are uniquely designed, you can’t help but to think about bridges. There are millions of bridges around the world and the construction of each of them is uniquely different. There are definitely some bridges that are more well known than others. Let’s look at a few of them and see what sets them apart and makes them so special.
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California
The Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, California was completed in 1937. The bridge spans 4,210 feet and was the world’s longest suspension bridge when it opened and held that title until 1964. The bridge connects the city of San Francisco to Marin County California and has a length of two miles over the strait where the San Fransico Bay opens to meet the Pacific Ocean. The bridge was designed by Chicago-based engineer Joseph Strauss and has long been considered an iconic U.S. landmark due in part to its bright orange color.
Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney, Australia
The Sydney Harbour Bridge, nicknamed “The Coathanger” because of its arch-based design, opened in 1932. The bridge was designed and constructed by the British firm of Dorman, Long, and Co. Ltd. of Middlesboro. This bridge carries rail, pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular traffic from the Sydney business district to the North Shore. At the time of construction, the bridge was the widest long-span bridge in the world, at 160 feet, and it remained so until 2012 when the Mann Bridge was completed in Vancouver.
Tower Bridge, London, United Kingdom
Construction on the Tower Bridge in London began in 1886, but the bridge was not completed until 1894. E W Crutwell was in charge of engineering for the project, but there was a roster of fine contractors, each with a specialty, on board as well. The Tower bridge is unique in that it is both a Bascule and a suspension bridge. The bridge has hydraulics that lift the bascules so that river traffic may pass. The Tower Bridge is still very much in use today with around 40,000 cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists using it each day. In the interior tower rooms, visitors can see the Victorian engine rooms that originally raised and lowered the bascules for passing river traffic.
Helix Bridge, Marina Bay, Singapore
If you are looking for a truly uniquely engineered bridge then the Helix bridge in Marina Bay, Singapore is the one for you. Beautifully designed after the structure of DNA and well lit with phenomenal views of the Singapore skyline, you won’t find another bridge like this anywhere else in the world. The bridge is only 918 feet long and is designed for pedestrians only. The bridge was designed by Australian-based Cox Architecture and Singapore engineering specialists Arup. Construction. The Helix bridge began in 2007 and was completed and opened to the public in 2010.
The architecture and engineering of buildings and bridges is always fascinating, but it is also wondrous to see the advancements that are made over time as building technology progresses.